17 Active Skills Your Child Should Learn

parent and active childEvery child is an individual. Some bloom early—running and climbing at a young age (and effectively stopping Mom’s heart on occasion), while others both literally and figuratively drag their feet when it comes to physical activity. The word “normal” just describes what the vast majority of kids ages four to five are capable of.

After reading the list below, you may discover your child is advanced, or you may worry your child is slightly behind. It’s most likely that he or she will catch up in a short time, but if you have any concerns, be sure to discuss them with your pediatrician.

Between the ages of four and five, a child should develop, or further hone, the following skills:

Gross Motor Skills

  • walking up or down stairs without assistance
  • riding a tricycle
  • standing on one foot for at least 10 seconds
  • hopping
  • doing a somersault
  • walking forward and backward easily
  • throwing, catching, and kicking a ball with accuracy
  • swinging and climbing at the playground
  • and possibly skipping

Fine Motor Skills

  • building block towers
  • cutting and pasting
  • drawing a person with a body
  • holding and using utensils with fingers (rather than his or her fist)
  • dressing and undressing (he or she should be able to manage snaps and zippers)
  • using the potty and washing hands
  • writing at least some letters

Children at this age are increasingly independent and develop many of these skills naturally, but there is still a lot you can do as a parent to encourage them. There are classes and team sports you can sign them up for—but be cautious in finding a teacher or coach who teaches skills appropriate for their age level.

Have some fun! Create an obstacle course that requires jumping and climbing.

There’s also a lot you can do with your child at home, saving you some money and providing you even more time with your precious little one.

Try creating an obstacle course in your home or backyard that requires jumping and climbing. You could also take your children to the neighborhood park and encourage them to challenge themselves. If they climb too high and find themselves stuck, avoid “coming to the rescue.” Instead, coach them on the right and safe way to climb back down. Soon, this will be an easy skill for them, if it isn't already.

To encourage fine motor skill development, give children some independence at home. Make them responsible for zipping and unzipping their clothes, or brushing their teeth, etc. Set up arts and crafts activities, such as drawing, cutting, pasting, coloring, and stringing beads. Also, encourage playing with blocks and puzzles, and toys with small parts that require fine motor skills.

As you instruct and interact with your child, try to remember that this is still playtime. Don’t get frustrated if he or she doesn't catch on quickly. Stay positive, relaxed, and reassuring. The more fun your child is having, the more he or she will want to explore and expand new skills.

What do you think?

17 Active Skills Your Child Should Learn

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1 comment

  1. Profile photo of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    We’re very far to complete the checklist since she’s just 10 months. Though she has yet to learn the concept of building tower blocks, she loves banging them together or collapsing the blocks I built. Her daddy is guiding her to climb up the stairs and they play obstacle course on the floor unknowingly. This happens when he tries to block baby’s way to TV stand or other furniture. She’ll find her way.

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